The Well of Dunbolten


An Aeranos RPG Encounter.

(See bottom of page for PDF download)

 


I first created this encounter for a group of three very experienced adventurers (120+xp each). The version presented here has been downgraded to be suitable for beginning adventurers. As a short Encounter, this was easy enough to accomplish by “trimming’ the claws of my monsters so to speak. I hope this will serve well as a quick adventure for gamemasters and players new to Aeranos.

Otherwise, it would be easy enough to ignore the ARPG content and use this adventure in most fantasy settings.

 

The Mission

The people of the Fommish village of Dunbolten have lost three children over the last several months. The first they thought simply wandered too far into the woods, but when a second and third disappeared, the last from his own bed and with signs of a struggle, they knew a predator stalked them.


Being the good, tax paying Fommish that they are, they sent for the king’s soldiers to help them in their time of need. A Knight of Culan arrived with a hand of soldiers. They searched the woods and the moors, and questioned the villagers. Just when they seemed to be at a loss, one of the villagers made a gruesome discovery while bringing water from the village well.


The bloody finger was fresh. Horrified by the find, and anxious to find the thing responsible, Sir Beregrd took his men into the dark hole after the unknown terror. That was four days ago. No sound nor sign has been heard from the well.


Fearing the worst, the village elder had the well covered and chained, and now leaves a villager on guard for signs of the Knight’s return or the creature itself. He sent word to Kaergot of the Knight’s disappearance. Now you are here. It’s good to be a hero.

 

Some Names

Sir Beregrd: Knight of Culan - Missing in the well.

Beregrd’s men: Osgal, Mann, Meridoc, Beorn, Harold - Missing in the well.

Laird Monmund: Village Elder.

Garm the Render: Gore Demon. Slimy 9 foot humanoid with the head of an eel.

Razor Pike: Garm’s pets.

Marduk: Farmer.

Jenner: Last boy taken.

Arelina: Jenner’s mother.

 

Garm’s Brood

Garm has taken the children in hopes of raising them as good little Gore Demons. As such, some of them are still alive, and undergoing the process of metamorphosis in demonic sacks of fluid. Only the latest two are savable, if the adventurers are lucky, but they probably won’t discover that until they arrive in Garm’s lair.



1. The well is deep and the water is cold. It’s about sixty feet to the water and another fifty feet to the bottom. Twenty feet below the water level is a hole in the wall of the well that leads to Garm’s lair. The entrance, and first fifteen feet is quite narrow in places. Only Garm’s slimy skin allows the creature to enter and exit easily. Swimming in bulky armor, besides being very difficult, will make it nearly impossible to get through the passage. Sir Beregrd and his men took off their armor and dragged it through with ropes after entering.

Swim with an Athletics Test -2. Add armor toughness bonus to difficulty.
In complete darkness -2 to all tests.

2. This large, low ceilinged chamber is very wet and muddy, and the floor rises unevenly from the water’s edge. The large pool in the northwest portion of the chamber is murky and gets deep quickly as you move further from the shore. The exits to area 3 are completely submerged. There are numerous signs of the previous rescue party here, including a small pile of wet supplies and a great deal of churned up boot prints. Good tracking (2 successes) will reveal one or two of Garm’s large, reptilian prints as well.

In the water, are Garm’s three remaining demonic, guardian pets. One was killed by Sir Beregrd and his men. They are huge, razor-toothed pikes. While they aren’t overly intelligent, they are cunning enough to wait until their targets are fully swimming before attacking.

 

3. Here are two underwater passages. Like the rest of the cave, the walls are full of cracks and shadowy corners. Between this and the mottled, camouflage of the demonic pike, it will be very difficult to see the guardians before they attack. All but three of Sir Beregrd’s party died here, while swimming toward Area 4. Sir Beregrd and two others made it through, but they were all injured in the crossing, and his squire, and last remaining man-at-arms soon died of their wounds.

In the lowest hole, where the two passages meet, are the fleshy, bony remains of the fish’s last meal, including some shredded chainmail and broken weapons.

If the adventurers gut the fish, they will find Sir Beregrd’s enchanted lightstone in the belly of the largest, still wrapped around the severed hand of his squire. This lightstone has a permanent Illuminate Spell and gives a soft, blue glow equal to a torch.

 

4. This is another wet, low ceilinged chamber, though somewhat less muddy. The floor, while still natural stone, is a bit more level as well. A tall, narrow crack in the east wall leads to Area 5.

The mangled remains of Sir Beregrd’s last two men have succumbed to the demonic taint of Garm’s lair, and risen as shamblers. They attempt to kill any adventurer who pops out of the water.

Unless the party has been exceptionally quiet, it is here that Garm first senses them with his telepathic abilities.

 

5. The head of this narrow passage in marked by two large slabs of rock that have fallen against each other. This natural gateway, long ago became a portal to Cairn Nan Arq, the Shadow Realm. At the other end of this passage is a second gateway into a tiny, pocket demon realm, or Daimoc Fenura. It was this planar feature that initially drew the interest of Garm, who sensed it while swimming the subterranean waterways. In the time since then, the demon has decorated the entrance to it’s planar lair with a grisly lintel of human and animal bones.

The adventurers will no doubt be fearful of traps here, but there is nothing in this passage.



 

6. The portal to Garm’s lair is decorated with the bones of it’s victims. More importantly, the door is a threshold beyond which no magic of Aeranos can function. All spell effects end when you step through, and no spells or magic can be used within. Only steel, muscle and wit will prevail against this demon.

The lair itself consists of black stone, covered in a layer of corrosive green slime. In a natural low point in the chamber, is a large pile of slick bones and corroded armor and weapons, including the gruesome remains of the Knight, Sir Beregrd.

Along the back wall of the chamber are three large, green sacks of demonic fluid, suspended from the ceiling by thick tendrils of rope-like slime. Inside each, is one the missing children.

The adventurers must first deal with Garm, who protects “her” children with all the ferocity of a bear.

 

If they defeat Garm, they can attempt to the rescue at least two of the children. All three are technically still alive, but one is too far into the metamorphosis to be saved, and will die when cut free. Saving any of them will be difficult, and require careful planning. While the fluid is kept from air, it is harmless, but once exposed to air, by being cut open for instance, it becomes highly acidic and will kill the children quickly. The best way to avoid this is to cut down the sacks and carry or roll them into the water in Section 3, before breaking them open.

 

 

MONSTER STATS (ARPG) 

  

Demon Pike
Awareness 7, Athletics 8, Stealth 8Speed 6, Mind 3a, Body 6Initiative 5, Move 14, Survival 4
Toughness 9 (Heavy hide 4)
Attacks
Toothy Bite 6, 7d
Special: Toothy Grip; 2 Success/Pinned, Prone and dragged under water.
Defenses
Dodge 7
Special Abilities
Aquatic, Animal Mind, Slippery +4 Escape Pin.
Bloodless Shambler
Awareness 3*, Athletics 5, Stealth 2Speed 2, Mind 2*, Body 10Initiative 2, Move 10, Survival 7*
Toughness 10 (Automaton 3, Bloodless 2)
Attacks
Fists & Bite 4, 5d
Defenses
Dodge 1
Special Abilities
Bloodless Modifiers: +2 Stamina, Tireless with no need to breath, Immune to Spirit and most Death spells, Life Sense: +4 to Awareness vs. the living.
Mindless Monster: Spells that use pain to inflict negative modifiers, or that only affect “willing” targets, have no effect on this creature.
Automaton: +3 Stamina, Brawl and Weapon Skill of 3, No negatives for brawl attacks vs. melee.
Relentless: Only a Called Shot to the heart (-8) or complete destruction or dismemberment will destroy this creature.
Garm the Gore Demon
Awareness 8, Athletics 9, Stealth 7Speed 8, Mind 6, Body 10Initiative 8, Move 15, sw14, Survival 8
Toughness 11 (Heavy Hide and Regeneration)
Attacks

Toothy Bite 7, 7d

Special: Demonic Poison; Body 12 or -4 actions for 1d6 turns, then Body 12 or uncon. for 1d6 hours

Razor Hands 8, 8d

Special: Demonic Poison: Body 12 or Light Wound +1 level per turn of failure. Success ends progression.

Defenses
Fate Point: 1
Dodge 7
Slippery +4 Escape Pin.
Special Abilities
Darkvision, Regeneration 1 level per turn. Telepathy: Read thoughts and combat bonuses to attack and defense (included).


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Kevin Dawson,
Jan 6, 2014, 1:26 PM
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